The alarm clock. The cell phone. The traffic. The job. The routine that we come to know as life is so familiar, constant, and automatic, we often don’t even realise what is happening to our creativity, passion, and excitement for the world around us . . . until far too many days, weeks, months, and years have passed, never to be seen again.
“Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for your life to begin and start making the most of the moment you are in.”
― Germany Kent
So, how can you start truly living? How can you infuse your life with a fresh perspective and a vibrant energy? How can you revive your spirit and embrace each moment as though it’s a magical treasure?
The keys to an inspiring transformation may be at your feet and outside your door. Perhaps you have already discovered the joy a canine companion can add to life, providing a daily dose of laughter, affection, and cheer. But when was the last time you bonded with your dog while exploring the splendor of a breathtaking natural landscape? If it has been awhile, it’s definitely time to venture out with your furry buddy! You’ll be giving your dog a greater quality of life, while giving yourself the gift of reconnecting to the natural world. It will stimulate your mind, energize your body, and nurture your spirit. Study after study shows the array of health benefits associated with spending time in natural environments. Sharing that time with a four-legged friend (or two or three) has been scientifically proven to enhance mental health, improve fitness, and get those creative juices flowing. Plus, it’s super fun!
Check out these 5 reasons why adventuring with your dog can have a profoundly positive impact on your life:
1. A dog is man’s/woman’s best friend.
Dogs are extremely perceptive when it comes to emotions, not only in other dogs, but in humans as well. They can read you like a book! When we experience fear, sorrow, anger, and other emotions, we often crave a companion who is dialed in to our state of being, providing comfort without overwhelming us with opinions and judgments. That is one of the reasons that taking our canine buddies into the great outdoors is such a great choice. They are tuned in to our feelings and they provide quiet understanding in a way that many humans do not. They also keep us laughing with their goofy antics, which reduces stress and improves blood flow. It’s no wonder they are known as man’s/woman’s best friend!
2. You’ll learn how to chase your goals (not your tail).
The sense of accomplishment from hiking a tough trail and standing triumphantly with your pooch at the end is like no other. When you’re able to reach that goal, the gratification and confidence you’ll feel will also motivate you in other areas of your life.
The goal-setting process you’ll implement is a valuable learning experience in and of itself. Since you and your dog are probably not on the same level of physical capability, you should set small goals at first, to avoid going down the path of overexertion and burnout. Starting with light exercise and working your way up to tougher workouts will get you and your doggy physically and mentally prepared for bigger challenges.
3. You’ll “heel” your soul.
Taking your exercise outside contributes to positivity and wellbeing, a Social Science and Medicine report confirms. Being out in the open air, away from the hectic flurry of everyday life, gives you much needed time for reflection and contemplation.
Take full advantage of your time in nature. Sprinkle your hike with five-minute breaks to stop and observe your surroundings. Fill your lungs with fresh air. Focus on deep breathing and the sights, sounds, and smells around you.
If you live in a home full of activity and excitement, your dog may display similar traits. As you venture into the wilderness together, your pooch will learn to relax as well. When you sit in a reflective state, taking in an awe-inspiring view, the little fluff-ball will settle down beside you and bask in the tranquility.
4. You’ll unleash your sense of wonder.
Discovering and exploring unfamiliar terrain really sparks your curiosity and wonderment. Studies show links between immersion in natural environments and improved cognitive performance. When you surround yourself with the majesty of the universe, you ignite your creative flair with an inspired new perspective.
The same sense of wonder can be seen in your pooch! A lack of stimulation is the leading cause of behavioral problems. It might be the reason you only have half a shoe left! Experiencing the outdoors is great for exciting your dog’s mind and reducing boredom.
5. You’ll em-bark on Real Change:
While motivation is high when starting something new, there is always the danger that it could dwindle as time goes on. To prevent this, add your newfound passion to your daily schedule. Having a set time every day when you walk 20-60 minutes, for example, will keep you on a sustainable path to continuous exploration.
As this new activity livens up your routine, it brings you a more positive mental attitude and helps you sleep more soundly. A study by The National Sleep Foundation proved that just 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity improved the quality of sleep by a whopping 65%!
Daily activity is great for canine insomnia too! Dogs can become highly strung and restless when they have pent up energy due to lack of exercise. This lifestyle change will help your pooch sleep better and become calmer and more disciplined.
One Step At A Time:
You will find that the benefits and possibilities of adventuring with your dog are endless. However, one of the main obstacles in obtaining the rewards of Dog Adventuring is not knowing where to start. Why not head over to our Pawsome Pack Facebook Group and ask our members for some advice on how to started exploring with your pooch. We look forward to having you join us on this journey to success, spirituality, and strength, one step at a time.
Our community is important to us! We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on this article, as well as your own dog adventuring stories, in the comments below or on our Facebook Page or Instagram Account. Happy Trails!